Jonathan Titmuss is a highly regarded senior junior who specialises in insolvency and restructuring.
Ranked for his insolvency expertise in both Chambers UK and Legal 500, he is noted as having “wide knowledge of technical insolvency and exceptional attention to detail” and having “sound commercialism”. He also accepts instructions in insolvency related commercial and property disputes.
Jonathan is known as a tenacious advocate and skilled strategist and tactician. He is popular and well respected by both his lay and professional clients for whom he is often seen as “go to” counsel.
Jonathan has an established practice dealing with the negligence of professionals involved in his core areas such as insolvency practitioners, solicitors and surveyors. He is recommended by Legal 500 in this area as well where he is recognised as being “responsive and knows his stuff”.
Jonathan is happy to consider different ways of funding cases including conditional fee agreements and he works with practitioners and funders to enable litigation to be funded to a successful conclusion whether following purchase and assignment or otherwise.
As an ADR Group accredited mediator, Jonathan is frequently involved in mediations and all forms of alternative dispute resolution.
Jonathan takes a keen interest in training. He regularly delivers talks to professionals in all areas of his work including solicitors, insolvency practitioners, accountants and surveyors as well as speaking for external organisations such as R3. He is also an accredited advocacy tutor for Lincoln’s Inn, a mentor on the pupillage foundation scheme and a registered pupil supervisor.
Areas of expertise
- Insolvency & restructuring
- Corporate insolvency
Jonathan deals with all aspects of corporate/partnership insolvency, including administrations, voluntary arrangements and liquidations and the officeholder disputes arising from these (fraud, wrongful trading and misfeasance etc). He also handles the company law aspects of these disputes such as shareholders’ disputes, disqualification of directors, directors’ duties, derivative claims as well as security and priority issues.
He regularly represents all the relevant parties in this field of work including financially distressed individuals and companies, office holders and creditors.
Jonathan has particular expertise in dealing with property disputes arising in the insolvency context and often involving short term, non-status lending (see below).
He has been recommended by Legal 500 for many years as a leading junior in this area.
Jonathan is leading the Gatehouse Chambers editorial team in its review of Atkins – Bankruptcy and Insolvency. He also edits the insolvency chapter of Insurance Broking and Practice as well as contributing insolvency articles to both Practical Law and LexisNexis including LexisNexis’ CRI Case Alerter.
- Obtaining freezing injunctions against directors guilty of misfeasance and / or fraudulent trading at the instigation of the principal creditor
- Obtaining interim injunctions to prevent the presentation or advertisement of winding up petitions
- Contested applications for administration orders, most recently an application by a bank to place a property development finance house into administration
- Advising the liquidator on contingent gifts made to the company before liquidation
- Application against a Trustee to admit a family member as creditor to an estate as a consequence of a familial loan
- Representing a trustee in an application to defer the date of automatic discharge where the bankrupt had failed to disclose significant assets held outside the jurisdiction
- Trustee remuneration disputes
- Transfer at undervalue and preference claims
- Acting for both directors and companies in the recovery of loan accounts following liquidation
- Advising a family of a bankrupt as to the effect of a life interest granted to mother on possession proceedings brought by the Trustee
- All ordinary applications in bankruptcy and winding up such as applications to set aside statutory demands, contested bankruptcy hearings, contested winding up petitions, orders for sale and annulments (particularly annulments co-extensive with re-mortgages)
- Mikki v Duncan  EWCA Civ 1312
- Dias v Havering London Borough Council  EWHC 172 Ch concerning the extent to which the Court should go behind a liability order of the Magistrates Court regarding non-domestic rates.
- Property insolvency
Jonathan is frequently instructed in property disputes arising in the context of insolvency proceedings or recovery proceedings. His recent work has included:
- Advising a liquidator on a large number of issues arising from the takeover of a property development where the majority of the development was let on assured shorthold tenancies that were defective and / or had issues in regard to the deposits
- Forfeiture proceedings in regard to licensed premises.
- Advising a liquidator on possession proceedings necessary to recover premises for creditors.
- Advising an administrator on issues arising from the ownership of a football club where the ground was to be sold for redevelopment.
- Advising an administrator upon his appointment over a property development finance house. Issues included possession proceedings in regard to unpaid mortgages, enforcement of guarantees in regard to mortgage shortfalls against directors and removal of receivers already in post.
-  GRC038 In the Royal Court of Guernsey. In the Matter of the Liquidation of Conqueror Holdings
- Corporate insolvency
- Professional liability
- Property Professionals
Jonathan deals with negligence disputes relating to property professionals, particularly such as surveyors.
- Claim relating to the failure of a surveyor to survey properly. As a consequence, significant damp and water penetration requiring extensive works to rectify were not revealed.
- Financial professionals, insolvency professionals, directors & officers
Financial professionals, insolvency professionals, directors & officers
Jonathan handles a variety of professional negligence claims and specialises in claims arising in the insolvency context involving IPs, solicitors and other professionals.
He has also niche expertise in negligence claims arising from short term, non-status lending, usually in relation to property acquisition and development.
- Dispute relating to the misselling of interest rate hedging products to a company by a major high street bank.
- Legal professionals
Jonathan has considerable experience of professional negligence claims against solicitor and barristers, often in relation to his commercial, insolvency and property expertise.
- Re Kelcrown (Hunt v Bishop): the issue relates to the limitation period and times for issuing and then serving insolvency applications.
- Re Kamyab: acting for a solicitor in relation to claims relating to the conveyance of a £12m property where the vendor became bankrupt between exchange and completion.
- Claim against a solicitor who was also executor and charged with negligent conduct of the estate, litigation and intermeddling in the litigation. There were also insolvency issues.
- Property Professionals
Jonathan is recommended for Insolvency in Chambers UK and Legal 500 as well as Professional Negligence in Legal 500.
- “Jon is a tenacious advocate with an eye for detail for each matter. His knowledge of the law is exceptional but he also possesses a strong commercial sense to seek to get the best for the client. He is my counsel of choice for most matters.” (The Legal 500, Professional Negligence)
- “Very good and grasping the key facts where there is lots of distracting evidence. Concise and thoughtful in his written opinions. Articulate and calm on his feet.” (The Legal 500 2024, Insolvency)
- “Jonathan is able to deal with high-value, complex matters effortlessly while possessing the commercial awareness to give a client confidence.” (Chambers and Partners 2024, Restructuring/Insolvency)
- “He is a superb tactician.” (Chambers and Partners 2024, Restructuring/Insolvency)
- “Jonathan brings a sense of calmness and objectivity to even the most vexed and challenging cases.” (Chambers and Partners 2024, Restructuring/Insolvency)
- “An exceptional barrister with an eye for detail, unparalleled knowledge and the ability to marshal a client where required. A pleasure to work with.” (Chambers UK, 2023)
- “Jonathan is brilliant, quick-thinking and knowledgeable in all aspects of insolvency.” (Chambers UK, 2023)
- “He is articulate and technically excellent.” (Chambers UK, 2023)
- “Jonathan combines technical knowledge and commerciality and delivers it with confidence.” (Chambers UK, 2023)
- “His capacity for difficult and complex work is outstanding. He works through things with ease. He makes clients feel secure in the knowledge he has their backs.” (The Legal 500, 2023)
- “Jon is a supremely talented member of the Bar whose insolvency expertise is second to none.” (The Legal 500, 2023)
- “He is a great team player and extremely client friendly” – (Legal 500)
- “Excellent technical ability and has practical knowledge in all insolvency areas.” – (Legal 500)
- “Technically and tactically very good.” (Legal 500)
- “Can make the complicated simple.” – (Legal 500)
- “Good at quickly and clearly arriving at a pragmatic assessment of a situation” (Legal 500)
- “Wide knowledge of technical insolvency and exceptional attention to detail where it matters.” (Legal 500)
- ‘Great technical ability; sound commercialism.’ (Legal 500)
- ‘Excellent knowledge and experience.’ (Legal 500)
- Contributor to Atkins Corporate Insolvency Court Forms (LexisNexis)
- Contributor of the insolvency chapter to Insurance Broking and Practice, edited by CMS (Informa)
Qualifications and memberships
BA (Hons) (UCL) (Geography)
ADR Group Accredited Mediator Professional Associations
R3 (Associate Member)
Property Bar Association
Chancery Bar Association